Make Ahead

Roast Chicken Gets Fancy

May 17, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Serves 4-5
Author Notes

When we're having company for dinner and I don't want to spend a lot, I buy a simple chicken. And then, I fancy it up! This one has preserved lemon peel, saffron, garlic and butter under the skin. I serve it with hot orzo mixed with wilted spinach, chopped dates, chicken juices, olive oil, salt and pepper. The meal is impressively cheap. —Cook the Story

What You'll Need
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chopped preserved lemon peel
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon unpacked saffron, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 1 5-lb chicken
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a small bowl combine the butter, preserved lemon peel, garlic, saffron, salt and pepper.
  3. With the chicken breast-side-up on a large plate locate the wide cavity of the chicken. Beginning at that edge of the chicken and using your index fingers, gently separate the skin from the breast meat a little bit. Take 1/3 of the butter mixture and stuff it between the skin and the meat of one breast. Crook your index finger and coax a bit of the butter under the skin of the drumstick. Repeat by smearing another 1/3 of the butter under the skin of the second breast and drumstick. Rub the remaining butter all over the top side of the chicken, flavoring the tops of the wings while also adding more buttery goodness to the breasts and drumsticks. Tuck the wing tips under the bird and place it into a roasting pan.
  4. Roast for approximately 1.5 hours or until the chicken has an internal temperature (in the middle of the thigh muscle) of 165ºF. Remove the chicken to a carving board and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes. Carve, marvel at the daffodil hue, serve.
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